The U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which addressed the constitutionality of state-enacted gay marriage bans, including the one in Tennessee. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment, states are required to allow marriage between two people of the same sex. In addition, all states must recognize same-sex marriages that are lawfully licensed in other states.
The Supreme Court decision reverses a Sixth Circuit case involving the Tennessee Attorney General, DeBoer v. Snyder, 772 F. 3d 388 (2014), and unambiguously provides that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples in Tennessee, as well as throughout the country. The ruling opens doors for same-sex couples not only to marry but also to receive all of the benefits provided by state and federal governments, such as favorable tax breaks, parental rights, and others.